Virtual Exhibits

There have been thousands of competitive stamp exhibits that have been prepared and displayed over the last century. These collections take years to develop and many hours to mount, describe and write up. They are then put up in frames at a stamp show, seen by a few score people and, on average, exhibited a dozen times before the owner doesn’t win enough awards for his interest to stay piqued. Modern technology has created a great philatelic possibility. Over the last ten years millions of scans of stamps and covers have appeared on the Internet. Collectors now could easily put together a Virtual Exhibit, consisting of stamps and covers that pertain to the theme of the exhibit but which the collector doesn’t own and many never have actually seen except as scans. In favor of this proposal is that it appeals to what exhibitors have long stated was their main philatelic goal- creating a philatelic exhibit that uses stamps to tell a postal or historical story that is both compelling and complete. Contraindicating this idea is that it goes against the great philatelic fundamental -ownership. Still, imagine the wonderful exhibits that could be created if competitive philately were more a battle of creativity and knowledge and less a display of size of bankbook.

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